Students from Hillel Israel gather in the Carmel Forest for a Day of Service with the Jewish Naitonal Fund.
Nearly 200 students from eight different Hillel Centers across Israel volunteered for a special day of service to assist the Carmel region in its recovery from the summer's devastating wildfires.
Students came from Hillel centers as far south as Sapir College in Sderot, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beer Sheva, and from Tel-Hai in Kiryat Shmona. They joined with Jewish National Fund staff to remove debris and to assist in building infrastructure to defend the forest from future fires.
Following the volunteer work, the group said a prayer at the location where 43 prison guards were trapped in a bus and lost their lives. The students then gathered into groups of 10-20 for a study of Jewish texts related to communal responsibility, civic involvement and the Jewish people's connection to the land.
"There is no doubt that volunteerism, communal involvement, developing social leadership and Jewish study are part of Hillel Israel's core values," explains Hillel Israel Director General David Yaari. "It is my hope that this Day of Service will become a tradition in Hillel Israel with the overall aim of strengthening the connection between social action and Jewish identity in Israel."
View a clip of the day's activities.